Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Sk:n deep

This post has sat on my "drafts" pile for a while now, in various guises. Most of my blog posts aren't particularly revealing - there are few admissions of low self-confidence or body 'hang-ups'. Mostly because the biggest thing I agonise over is, quite literally, staring me in the face.

I'm nearly 23, which means that for over half of my entire life, I've been trying to win the war against Acne Rosacea. For as long as I can remember, I have never had skin that is, as I call it, "skin-coloured".

My skin isn't embarrassing, it's not disgusting, it could completely be SO much worse. I am not claiming this irritating condition impacts on my capacity to leave the house everyday... You probably would never have noticed on camera. But, without make-up, it's just a flushing pain in the arse that after 12 years of reddening, I'm quite done with, thankyou very much.

So when an email dropped into my inbox from sk:n, asking if I'd like to pop in and have a free dermatology consultation, I jumped at the chance.

I popped into the Leicester branch (they've just opened a new one in Sheffield!) for a consultation and a glycolic peel, and walked away with a head FULL of advice and expert knowledge about my specific skin type. I was presented with an A3 chart as seen above, with all sorts of personalised information to suit me. For example, it turns out I've got some skin damage. For someone who has never been on a sunbed and is a total shade-seeker on holiday, this came as quite a shock! Aside from the horrror stories though, the nurses were on hand to calm me down, and offer some advice. I'll let you into a little secret. Mild sun damage is reversible, but Sk:n recommend SPF 30 in all day creams, every day, even in the winter.

I was also recommended a whole list of skincare products that could suit me. I chose the Sensicure cream gel since it was recognised that I was using too harsh an exfoliator, and in fact my skin was super dry (who knew?).

3 or 4 weeks on, my acne hasn't gone away. I'm still pimply, and a little too much on the shiny side. But, on the other hand, I feel a lot more aware of what my skin needs health wise, just as much as appearance-wise. My spots might not have budged (and pesky little buggers they are too!) but, thanks to sk:n, my complexion is feeling healthier, plumpier, and better protected from this wintery climate.

Lastly, I'd just like to thank sk:n for helping me take the next step in tackling my irritating complexion. If you've got a skin condition that you've been getting on with for longer than you're happy about, I couldn't recommend you visit sk:n enough. Whatever your problem, they are there to help.

It would be great to hear your skin and body stories, and how you've tackled your exterior demons. You're all gorgeous anyway, I know that.

Both the consultation, glycolic peel and sensicure cream gel were courtesy of sk:n, in exchange for an honest review and product trial. The consultation was undertaken as a mystery shopper, and the full review is conducted after 4 weeks of daily using the products. Of course everyone's skin is different, and so this review is entirely based on my personal experience alone.
Claire x


  1. I've not heard of sk:n before. I've suffered with acne and blemishes for years. I'm currently trying out the dermalogica range hoping that it will do some good. I always assumed that having spots meant my skin was too oily but really it was dehydrated!
    Rachelle x

  2. I break out a lot, especially on the chin, forehead, nose... general t-zone area really! One spot will go and another will soon come along in no time. I've even tried Liz Earle and it's not done much good. I use some body shop products, the seaweed cleanser and night treatment have been doing alright lately but I still break out. Just come to live with it now!

    Cheers for the informative post, I always enjoy a good post about these things as I've been tackling with dodgy skin for some years now

  3. Great post. I love Sk:n. I had a "bad skin year" a couple of years ago which was really upsetting at 23 after getting through my teenage years with barely a spot. I was cynical at first as the products and peels I was recommended were pricey but with some patience and time they made a big difference. Good luck with improving your skin, I don't think there are any quick fixes but its good to know that you're protecting your skin for the future. I now use SPF 30 everyday even if people do laugh at me in the middle of winter! x

  4. I had some really bad breakouts at 15 so I started trying home made face masks and remedies and they helped so much.
    I think I'll get myself some moisturiser with SPF 30 now. Thanks for the review and advice!

  5. Claire <3 <3 I had really bad breakouts in my late teens, I tried some light therapy thing and peels... bloody spots!! glad you've found something that will hopefully make a difference and makes you feel more positive. It took me a while to get over the feeling that the whole world was looking at my face though :/ As superficial as it seems, I think having a long term boyfriend helped more than any treatment!! (which is something I lacked in my teens..) xxx

  6. Aw bless you, my Mum suffers from this. I would never have guessed, you cover it up so well. I've suffered from eczema since I was a baby and it was horrendous when I was younger, it's not so bad now. It was never on my face but having to do p.e at school with horrible rashes and spots on my legs and arms was humiliating. I couldn't go swimming until I was 8 and could never eat dairy when I was a baby. It was a royal pain in the ass! Haha. But I'm finally growing out of it :) skin conditions can be so annoying even if not noticeable to everyone xxx

  7. I had never heard of Sk:n before but it sounds like they know their stuff! I have had awful skin in the past and I still have to take antibiotics to keep it under control so I can feel your pain!

    Maria xxx

  8. Oh I've never heard of sk:n, it sounds really good though. I have pretty crappy skin, it's not horrific but it's definitely the type where I always need foundation. Definitely going to check them out though! xx

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  9. You know this was really interesting for me to read, because I wonder whether I suffer from rosecea myself. Not with the spots, but I do have very sensitive easily irritated skin, and constant ever present redness that doesn't seem to go with anything. I worry I'm being overly paranoid and I'm just got a red face, but I really think I might have it. Might be worth going for a consultation just to confirm it or not!

  10. Don't worry..You're not alone in this kind of situation. I've been dealing with acne since I was 13...I remember the horrible years, when I had to wear foundation, because it was so bad..and I was only 14 then ! Ugh. I'ts been 4 years now, this year I'm turning 18 and my acne is not gone. Well, it's a lot better, but I still get pimples here and there plus I have got red areas. I've never heard of Sk:n, maybe I'll try their products ! Cheers :)

  11. :( aw sounds like a pain. Hope it improves for you

  12. Sounds like a great service. Good luck with your skin journey as it were, it sounds like you are taking the right steps, and it's good to get expert advice. My skin has never been terrible, which means I've never been good at looking after it and so it's never been as good as it could be. My current aim is to keep to a good routine and change that!

  13. Got to love a bit of straight talking Jazzpad! Sometimes it's hard to explain how much the state of your skin can really knock your confidence. Don't like your arms? Wear long sleeves. Problem skin? There's literally nowhere to hide! I've suffered from acne since my teens and have had some of my worst break outs when I was in my mid twenties. Totally devastating. I should have grown out of it years ago, right? It wasn't until one of my good friends (who's a nurse and also suffered from acne) recommended something to use that I started to see a change. So I think it's great that sk:n have nurses available..

    Unfortunately the different forms of acne are a lot more common than you think, but it does mean there are a lot more people who understand and can sympathise with a skin condition. I found really helpful on the bad days. (An American site, but there are international forums) Also, Bare Minerals make up looks flawless and doesn't irritate or clog up my skin.

    I guess you just have to find what works for you. Then once you've found it.. Well, keep doing it! Hope you've found something that helps here!




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